Prayer for July 6: Please pray with me. Holy One that we follow, lead us. These are difficult times. Very difficult times, but they are not something new. Humanity has struggled with these things many times before. We have had leaders who have are lacking. We have made arguments that dehumanize. We have carried out policies that devalue and separate and pit people against one another. This isn’t new. It is humanity’s story, over and over again. Come to us yet again Lord, as you promise to do. Guide your followers in the way of peace, mercy, grace, forgiveness, love. Guide our words and actions in ways that participate in the unfolding of your kingdom, not the expansion of the empire that is based on anger and fear. An empire that seeks to separate and divide. Lead us Holy God. Open our ears to hear, clear our eyes to see, cleanse our hearts to love. Give us wisdom. Help us to invite people into the kingdom and to wipe the dust from our feet of those insistent on expanding the empire. We pray for them. We will continue to love them in spite of their fear and anger of us. We will continue to prayer for them in spite of their desire to do things a different way. We will continue to live the way of peace in spite of their calls for violence and arms and war. We will continue to forgive them in spite of their blame and scapegoating. This is what it means to follow you. Give us the strength to follow you, without exception. Amen.
Prayer for June 19: Please pray with me. God of the least and the most vulnerable, we lift up those who need you today. You promise to bring the mighty down and raise up the weakest. Remember your promise Lord. There are many who need to be raised. You are in the business of raising up those that are lifeless. You are in the business of bringing to life that which is dead. You are in the business of transformation. Our world needs this kind of resurrection now. Touch our lives, let us know we are not alone. Amen.
Prayer for May 16: Please pray with me. Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe. We offer up our worship to you. And we recognize that not all worship you. There are many who worship the Empire and Caesar instead. They worship the power and might of the Empire and the strength of their Caesar. But this is not new – Empire and Caesar are old religions that you have faced throughout time, Holy One. We know where Empire and Caesar leads – to death and destruction. But you lead us ultimately to life – renewed life, transformed life, resurrected life. You call on us to die to self and all the things of this world – to die to the worship of Empire and Caesar. Radically reorient us towards you, so that we may know how you embrace us, O God of Love. You are God, we are not. Guide our paths and lead us to you. Amen.
Prayer for March 19: Please pray with me. God of peace, today we life up the peacemakers of this world. Those that strive to create an environment where peace will take hold. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said Blessed are the peacemakers. He didn’t say blessed is peace. Rather, he recognized that peace is not a destination, but rather a process and a way of life. Help us to stop praying for peace and to instead to have the courage and strength to be peacemakers. We pray that our leaders would see the wisdom of moving towards peace as well. It is only in making peace that a society can benefit from trust and can move towards prosperity for all members of the society – especially the least and the lost. Let policy makers and leaders realize that being a peacemaker isn’t only just related to international policy and military action – it relates to the policies we create and how they impact those that are outcast within our own society. Compel us to be peacemakers. Amen.
Prayer for February 6: Please pray with me. God who is very real, come to us. We live in an age in which some have difficulty discerning what is real and what is fake. We live in an age in which there is a severe lack of trust in others. We live in an age in which the highest value many hold is how much attention they can get from others. Turn us from complaining about this only Lord. That helps no one. Instead, work through us – through our actions and our words. Work through us to be your voice and presence in this world. When we confront other who ask “What is truth?”, work through us to show your truth to others. Help us to live true to your word and your teachings. Strengthen us that our actions and words might be in alignment with your will and word. Move us away from the sin of certainty, purity of belief tests, and making orthodoxy into an idol. Instead let your word guide us each day. We aren’t called to go around and beat others over the head and into submission in order for them to follow our version of “right.” Rather, we called to listen to your will, and live it out – with love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace. We are called to live our grace and offer grace to others. It in living this way that we follow your will. No one ever came to belief because we beat them over the head with our version of being right. No one ever came to belief because we shamed them or brought fear into their lives. Why would they? Faith is a gift that you give, oh Holy One. We are called to respond in trust to that gift. Give us the courage to respond. Give the wisdom to know that it is not us that gives faith or salvation to others – it is only you. Amen.
Prayer for January 24: Please pray with me. God of holy conversations, come into our conversations and bless them. We ask that you work through us to change the content of our conversations from ones of suspicion and division to conversations that live out our faith with grace, humility, and forgiveness. We can’t wait for someone else to start doing this – we will wait forever. Instead, cause us to be the ones to start. Use us as an example of what is possible. We need a different tone and attitude for difficult and important conversations Lord – conversations about politics and policy, conversations about race, conversations about people from different lands, conversations about work, conversations about humanity. Let grace flow through these conversations. Help us to not react to others, especially when they attack, insult, dehumanize, or degrade. Give us the strength to respond with grace, forgiveness, and a re-establishment of humanity. Let grace flow through our politics. Let grace flow through our conversations. Let grace flow through our lives. Let grace flow Lord. And let it start with me. Amen.
Prayer for January 3: Please pray with me. Patient God, when will we learn? How many times will we mess this up? We claim to be your followers, yet we swear our allegiance to so many other things and put these things before you. We claim that you are our God, yet so often we follow the wishes of idols. We claim that you are the who forms our beliefs, yet so often our set of beliefs are nothing more than platform statements of the political party we swear allegiance to. Yet, all these things will pass and fade with time. They will be forgotten to history. And then what? What will remain? Only you. How patient you are Eternal One. How patient you are with us. Radically reorient us to follow your Word and ways of life. To embrace forgiveness, peace, love, grace, and joy. Embody these things within us and make us so uncomfortable that we actually change. Sometimes our comfortable lives and ways lead us to our downfall. Raise us up in uncomfortableness God. Amen.
Prayer for December 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, you have to be laughing. You just have to. You have to be laughing at our ridiculous attempts to control things around us – to impose rules on those around us and control people. You have to be laughing at our self-importance. You have to be face palming our attempts to figure out how to govern ourselves. You have to be sighing at how we place so much importance in our elections – as if our very salvation depended on it. Oh how foolish of us to make elections so very important. How did we get to this point that we have made elections into life or death situations? How did we get to the point that our identity as your children is willingly replaced with identity to political party? Why are we willing to trade in our identity as your children for a tool used to obtain worldly power? Is it worth it? Hardly. But then, what can you expect from sinful, broken people Lord. We will keep getting it wrong Lord. We’ll keep equating your will with some election result here or there – fooling ourselves into believing that we are somehow special in history or as a people. We’ll fool ourselves into believing that you have chosen our nation as something unique and that you offer us some kind of special blessing. We’ll fool ourselves into believing that your will matches the agenda of one political party or the other and that your will is an extension of our nation’s greatness – greatness defined in terms of power and might rather than love. We’ll keep doing this Lord. And you’ll keep being patient. You’ll keep forgiving us. You’ll keep loving us. And some of us will stand in awe and wonder of you and your persistence to encounter us and change our lives. Thank you for your persistence Holy One. Amen.
Prayer for December 7: Please pray with me. Holy God, today we pray for peace. Peace is a difficult thing for humanity – we don’t seem to get it. Peace doesn’t come through poking and provoking – no matter how hard we poke and prod. Peace doesn’t come through demands and insults – no matter how forcefully we yell. Peace doesn’t come through ego and hubris – no matter how far we puff out our chest. And peace doesn’t come through wiping out an enemy and scaring one’s enemies away through military weaponry. Peace comes through vulnerability, humility, openness, and accompanyment. Peace comes through a recognition of the humanity of those that differ from us. Peace comes in each decision we make to see what we hold in common rather than to see who is right and who is wrong. Forgive us when we make decisions that diminish peace. As St. Francis of Assisi once prayed, make us instruments of your peace. Peace isn’t a destination Lord, but rather a way of living and being. Amen.
Prayer for October 4: Please pray with me. God of the universe, you have to be laughing. You have got to be laughing at humanity and our ridiculous attempts to control things here on earth. That works out so well so often doesn’t it? Lord help us, for our own sake. Strip us of our egos that make us think we know all the answers. Open our hearts to recognize that the game of politics and partisanship is something in which no one wins in the end. Instead, radically reorient us to a different way of living and being Lord. A way of life in which we care for our neighbors, regardless of who they are. A way of life in which we care for creation, so that it will be around for future generations. A way of life in which we empower people rather than enslave them or make them dependent on our political systems that seek to consolidate power for its own sake. Help us to see and know how ridiculous our power struggles are, and how dangerous and damaging they are to people. Amen.